Rodriguez Requires Opponent Change Ahead of Tonight’s Shark Fights 17 Event

Ricco Rodriguez. Photo courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez will now put his eleven-fight win streak on the line against a new foe just hours before his promotional debut under the Shark Fights banner this evening.

According to MMA Weekly, Rodriguez faces Doug Williams, who was pulled from the undercard of Shark Fights 17 and quickly slotted into the co-main event. The change comes from a discrepancy involving Rodriguez and his assumption that original opponent Karl Knothe had agreed to a 230 lb catchweight. 

Knothe tipped the scales yesterday at 253 lbs and Rodriguez, who cut down to 227 lbs, opted to bow out of the matchup, citing a vast disadvantage due to the weight difference.

Shark Fights and HDNet officials reportedly scrambled and were able to grab Williams, who sports a sub .500 record and a past loss to Rodriguez, who continues to work his way down to an eventual move to light heavyweight.

Tonight's Shark Fights 17 event will be headlined by a middleweight rematch between UFC veterans Matt Horwich and Jake Rosholt. Horwich defeated Rosholt via third-round TKO last November.

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